Stack'em up and back'em up
To rip a DVD we will be using a nice piece of free software that will essentially create a backup of the essential folders on a DVD.
Note: It will NOT re-encode the DVD into DivX or MP4 formats! This is a pure backup.
So, go and download this piece of software; it's called DVD Shrink. Once you have it installed, it's time to tweak the settings. Open up the program and click on Edit > Preferences...
Now, you can choose to compress the video to a single writable DVD at 4.7GB or you can go for near perfect quality and sacrifice up to 9GB per a movie, which works out to over a hundred movies at near perfect quality for this hard drive.
That is the only setting worth bothering with here, so you can click ok or go and explore the others at your own risk.
Done tweaking? Good. Grab a DVD and load it in. Once the disc has been recognised, you can click Open Disc.
This will allow you to select which drive you want to rip from, in case you have multiple readers in your system. (Make a note of the drive letter of the one you want to use, you will need it later.)
DVD Shrink will spend some time analysing the disc and once it's done it will show you the structure in the main window. At this point you can poke around if you like and see what extras your disc has. You can even un-click any extras such as the Swedish subtitles or the Japanese special audio commentary.
Later we will automate the ripping process and there will be no ability to deselect these options, so let's leave them in for now.
Hit the Backup! button, select your destination to rip to and go go go!
Ok, you might want to go and do something for half an hour to 45 mins as DVD ripping is all depending on the speed of your drive and your processor. If you built a beast of a quad core system with the fastest DVD reading drive out there you might have much less of a wait.
Once the rip is done, take a look in your specified folder and if all has gone well you should have AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders with the audio folder being empty and the video folder being full.
Congratulations! You ripped your first DVD! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back and break open a six pack.